Women fleeing violence will soon have access to 22 new spaces in Terrace.
The provincial government made the announcement to kick off 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, with over 260 new spaces of transition, second-stage and affordable housing in 11 B.C. communities.
The spaces will be located at the corner of Lazelle Avenue and Munroe Street, and operated by Terrace’s Ksan Society. The non-profit social service agency specializes in housing and supports for women and children who are experiencing or at risk of violence.
“It’s encouraging to see communities and partners around the province working together to ensure that women and children have safe and secure places to go when they need help,” says Selina Robinson, minister of municipal affairs and housing in a press release.
“Everyone deserves to live a life free of violence with hope for the future, and we are working hard to create more homes and opportunities for women and children to thrive.”
In addition, the province says it will provide funding for support services including emotional support, safety planning and information and referrals to medical, legal and financial assistance, according to a press release.
“Access to housing and supports is a barrier when fleeing domestic violence. This new project will provide women and children access to safe, secure, affordable housing and supports which is not currently available in our community,” says Amanda Bains, Ksan Society executive director.
Bains says the push to bring safe, supportive housing for those fleeing domestic violence in Terrace has been in the works for the last two years. A proposal was submitted through Building BC: Women’s Transition Housing Fund, the province’s 10-year, $734-million investment to build 1,500 safe homes with supports for women and children leaving violence. The project is now in its design phase.
Second-stage housing is primarily used as safe, independent, short-term housing, Bains explains. Those struggling with alcohol and drug use can still access the units, though there will be some rules to follow in order to maintain housing, she says.
The length of stay is typically six to 18 months, but that time could be extended to meet individual needs. Staff will also be available to provide emotional support, safety planning and referrals.
Terrace RCMP’s High Risk Domestic Violence Committee monitored six relationships from July to September, according to the most recent quarterly report. Last quarter, the committee monitored eight relationships from April to June.